GST exemption for Hajj, Umrah tours SC dismisses private tour operators’ plea

Representational Picture
Representational PictureFile/ GK

New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismissed a batch of petitions filed by various private tour operators seeking exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the Hajj and Umrah tours offered by them.

The petitions seeking exemption had alleged discrimination against the pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia.

A bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, A S Oka, and C T Ravikumar dismissed the petitions on both the grounds of exemption and discrimination.

The bench said that the argument raised by the petitioners regarding the extra-territorial application of GST for services given outside India is kept open, as it is pending consideration before another bench.

The tour operators had challenged the levy of GST on Hajjis who avail themselves of services offered by registered private tour operators because no tax law could be applicable on extra-territorial activities as per Article 245 of the constitution.

The petitions argued that the services consumed outside India cannot be subjected to GST and that the levy is discriminatory as it exempts certain Hajjis who undertake the pilgrimage through the Hajj Committee of India.

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